Olives, the Fruit of the Middle East

  • 3 years   ago

 Olives are among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world.

They are a species specifically suited for a Mediterranean climate and are grown extensively along the Mediterranean coast.

Olives were cultivated about 8000 years ago in Anatolia, where it spread to the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe (Efe).

 

The olive was spread throughout Mediterranean Europe and North Africa very early, due to its ease of vegetative propagation and cultivation in dry climates (Jordi)

 One of the reasons people have taken interest in harvesting olives for thousands of years is due to their rich nutritional value.

Olive trees are also a “very stable source of food production and income because the trees are extremely long-lived (up to 1000 years) and tolerant of drought, salinity and almost total neglect, and so have been reliable producers of food and oil for thousands of years” (Jordi).

 

Olives play a big role in the economics of the Mediterranean world because of those reasons.

Many products are extracted from the olive tree, including olives, olive oil, olive wood, and olive based soap (Alwazir).

 

Palestinian Arabs cherish the olive oil they harvest from their trees, for “a simple Palestinian breakfast is just bread and olive oil, often dipped first into a spicy mixture of herbs and salt”

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